Do you believe in ghosts and the paranormal?

Ghosts, poltergeists, ouiji boards, voices from beyond the grave.

Whats your opinion? Ever seen a ghost? Has anyone ever taken a genuine photograph of a ghost? Has there ever been evidence that we can commincate with spirits from the “other side”?



No reliable evidence to date.

“Supernatural” phenomena, by definition, cannot exist. If such things were real, they would be natural, somehow. But existence of ghosts, by the usual meaning of that word, would require the existence of a soul/personality outside of the physical container we call our body, for which there is also no reliable evidence to date.

Lest this turn in to a debate, the above is only my opinion, as appropriate for this forum.

I believe in everything. It saves a lot of time and effort. :wink:

If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.

I’m on the fence - I’ve had weird things happen, but as I get older, the less it seems to matter why said weird things have happened. What matters more is how I react and what affect it has on me and my family.

In one sense, I’d like to believe in the paranormal, and I think it’d be a mistake to totally discount it, but I also don’t attribute every weird thing that happens to me to ghosts and other things that go bump in the night.

Somewhat. I believe in the “unexplained”. I’ve never been prone to hallucination (save for when feverish perhaps) but I have seen people vanish, doors open and close by themselves, and other odd things (some with other witnesses). It’s certainly not a routine occurrence, and I haven’t had any odd experiences in years, but I firmly believe some places are “haunted”.

Now what exactly “haunted” is I don’t know. I don’t really think it’s restless spirits and demons having a hellish hoe-down, but rather something that has a natural explanation as yet unknown. I think whatever that explanation is has a universal scope, which is why ghost stories are universal and strangely uniform even between cultures that had no contact with each other.

I think that 99.9% (if not all) people like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, James Van Praagh, Roemary Altea, etc., fall somewhere on a scale between “self deluded” and “total charlatan”, and the same with alien abductions/psychic readings/past life recall/etc… However, several scientists and skeptics, including Arthur C. Clarke, while not exactly believing in ghosts- did not discount all ghost stories as imagination or as easily attributed to obvious causes but believed that there was some unknown factual basis (again, not necessarily the spirits of the dead, but also not just a cat bumping into an end table). When it’s remembered that in the 100,000+ years we’ve been around and the 5,000 we’ve been writing it’s only been the past century and a half that we’ve uncovered such basic and quotidian things as how diseases spread and the mechanics of conception or tectonics, it’s not at all improbable that

Interesting point, Sampiro. Maybe things that we would call “paranormal”, are actual events which can be explained by some as yet undiscovered laws of the natural world. Its possible that in 100 years time scientists will be able to debunk a lot of what people might call hauntings and supernatural events.

On the other hand, the mind is a wonderous and complicated thing, and perhaps if you want to believe in something strongly enough, you can make it happen. Also, if enough people who “believe” are together in a haunted house, perhaps its possible that they can collectively convince themselves that they are seeing something which cannot be explained by conventional reasoning. because they want it to happen, to re-enforce their beliefs.

Interesting point, Sampiro. Maybe things that we would call “paranormal”, are actual events which can be explained by some as yet undiscovered laws of the natural world. Its possible that in 100 years time scientists will be able to debunk a lot of what people might call hauntings and supernatural events.
/QUOTE]Snip mine.

This. I’ve had enough weirdness crop up that I don’t discount the reality of unexplained phenomena. It is simply too widespread to be 100% hoaxes and delusion. I feel that given time and proper funding, we will eventually prove some truly odd quirks of physics that cause a lot of this sort of thing.

I believe somewhat in the supernatural and/or ghosts, probably because I choose to so believe.

I didn’t think the topic was worthy of GD. GD or IMHO? If any mods think this needs moving then please move it to the correct forum. Thanks.

Ghosts? I don’t understand what a ghost is. Is it physical? If not, how can you see it, how does it move? Does it have a memories and a mind? How is this stored?

From my experiences of bereavement I think some people perceive dreams about their dead loved ones as their ghosts literally coming to visit. I had some very ‘realistic’ dreams about my father around my funeral that I would love to have thought of as him coming and saying arrivederci.

From Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary (abridged):

The quote doesn’t quite dismiss the possibility that all hauntings are a form of recording of past events, somehow embedded in the environment, and released under certain circumstances, does it?

That theory was actually addressed in an Arthur C. Clarke documentary referenced above. He didn’t claim to believe it, but he did ponder it as a possibility.
That’s essentially what I believe (don’t ask for proof or evidence, I have none): that some of these things are basically a “burp” in time-space. (I dare not say more lest I reveal just how loopy I am.)

I haven’t personally experienced anything very convincing, but other people seem to think they have. I’m paranormally agnostic. If I experience something, then I’ll believe it. If not, it’s an open question.

It’s worth further investigation, but I haven’t heard of too much progress in supernatural studies so far. For example, I’d be the first to say we should send a mars rover to the “face / city” area to take a look around, but also the first to admit when it just sees a big pile of dirt that happens to look interesting and means nothing more.

I have to say though, “Ghost Hunters” pisses me off big time. Absolutely nothing happens for an entire hour, during which they make the biggest deal out of feeling a breeze or hearing a creak while increasing the drama by filming in shaky nightvision.

My brother thought he had a ghost in his place. When he slept in the upstairs bedroom, sometimes he’d see this ghostly form outside the door. I think I figured it out, though.

It just happened that his house sat lower than a road that veered around it. As the lights from the cars approached, they were bright enough to show through an open window. The apparition was next to an air return, where one might expect to find dust particles in the air. Car headlights veer around and the apparition is gone till the next car.

My sister, OTOH, is certain she had spirits in her old house…when she sold it, she even told the new owners. Multiple weird things happened, especially in the basement and kitchen. If she lay down in the basement, hands would push on her feet. She’d wake up in the night and all the lights would be on. Weird stuff like that, experienced by multiple members of the family. IIRC she was the first and only owner of the house so there was no history to consult.

Me…I can suspend disbelief.

No. And nothing will convince me otherwise. I don’t expect raccoon ghosts, or whale ghosts, or orangutan ghosts: so why human ghosts? We’re just mammals with complex speech.

I only believe in the paranormal. Normalnormal is all in your imagination, but since people are such unreliable witnesses they believe impossible things like Pontiac, camels, and Diana DeGette are true.